Influence of materials' optical response on actuation dynamics by Casimir forces

Mehdi Sedighi Ghozotkhar, W. H. Broer, S. Van der Veeke, V. B. Svetovoy, G. Palasantzas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The dependence of the Casimir force on the frequency-dependent dielectric functions of interacting materials makes it possible to tailor the actuation dynamics of microactuators. The Casimir force is largest for metallic interacting systems due to the high absorption of conduction electrons in the far-infrared range. For less conductive systems, such as phase change materials or conductive silicon carbide, the reduced force offers the advantage of increased stable operation of MEMS devices against pull-in instabilities that lead to unwanted stiction. Bifurcation analysis with phase portraits has been used to compare the sensitivity of a model actuator when the optical properties are altered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number214014
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physics-Condensed Matter
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 3-Jun-2015


  • Casimir force
  • optical properties
  • MEMS

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